Fit & Proper test opens Pandora’s Box


I hear the SFA had asked for clarification on Craig Whyte’s alleged disqualification as a director, without getting confirmation one way or another, since the issue was initially brought to their attention by the landmark BBC documentary, Rangers: The Inside Story.  Rangers disclosure to the Plus Exchange (where the club’s shares are traded) on Wednesday that this specific BBC allegation was correct, was the information the SFA needed before they were in a position to act and apply a Fit and Proper Person (FPP) test to Whyte.

Dramatic though it sounds, failing a FPP test, in itself, is only likely to cause superficial damage to a club or its owner.  An owner would need to resign as a director but he could allow the other directors to continue running the business, or he could appoint a proxy to take control of the business, which is often the way controllers run football clubs anyway.

What is of more interest, however, are matters likely to be disclosed as part of the SFA investigation.  The Association would require Mr Whyte to explain what he did to be barred from holding a directorship for seven years, something the BBC lawyers would be able to question Whyte on in the witness box, should he actually sue, instead of repeatedly threatening to do so.

Of most interest to the SFA will be Rangers financial submission for their Uefa licence, which enabled the club to be nominated as Scotland’s participants in this season’s Champions League.  A condition of participation in Uefa competitions is that no debts to tax authorities due on 31 December the preceding year remains unpaid on 31 March.

In September HM Revenue and Customs gained permission from the court to freeze £2.3m of Rangers money in connection with an unpaid tax bill.  The principle element of this bill has not been disputed by Rangers.  The SFA will now be keen to establish if any part of this bill was in connection to taxes due in prior to 31 December 2010.  If it was, Celtic were entitled to be Scotland’s Champions League representatives, when overcoming the likes of Malmo stood between them and a £15m pay-day.

This is a legal minefield for the SFA chief exec, Stewart Regan, who has my sympathy. Things are about to become interesting.

While we are on the subject of that £2.3m tax bill, HM Revenue and Customs are due to get their hands on the cash after Friday next week, the last day Rangers are able to dispute the debt. If Rangers enter administration prior to that date, the cash would revert to the administrator and the club’s secured creditors would be entitled to it.

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  1. Kayal33



    Sorry, don’t know entirely agree, we need to sell to get a better balance in the squad.



    Where would you put the quality (that you want to achieve) in a midfield where we already have, combative players in



    Brown Ki Kayal Wanyama Ledley?



    If you extend the squad is unbalanced to full backs, and centre backs that’s a different argument, and your posts changes, to having some merit.



    But I don’t think we signed Scott Brown to sell Beram Kayal, that’s still cynicism, especially since we’ve also just signed Beram Kayal (again)



    Why not turn your thoughtfulness and attention to squad detail, with we’ve sold Jos Hooiveld to sign Ivan Ramis?


    – otherwise Celtic fans become just like the Hunique press we already receive.



    Last week Scott Brown to Newcastle, next week Adam Matthews to yada yada



    The Celtic Board are already speculating on season ticket renewal for 2012/2013 they’ve signed the club captain, and a Swedish International in





    Hail Hail

  2. TinyTim says:


    3 December, 2011 at 12:36



    The fact that nobody from a richer league has knocked down Celtics or Scott Browns door tells us all we need to know about how he has performed so far in a Celtic jersey.




    Indeed. You know this how?



    The old laptop loyal, eh?

  3. Just a wee reminder for anyone involved in thre Kano predicter competition.



    The earkly kick off, Newcastle v Chelsea, is just about to start…




  4. TinyTim:



    Do you know of every communication in/out of Celtic?



    Do you know if any club, or none came in for our Captain? Or is it just because the DR has not mentioned it you don’t rate the player?



    You know shit about what happens regards potential transfers… be honest now.



    And a thousand more questions that I can’t be fecked asking.

  5. kitalba says:


    3 December, 2011 at 12:31


    ‘And the biggest bonus of all for me… Scott Brown is a Scotsman, not of the Roman Church, who does not give a tosh about the Roman Church or religion, not that he contempt’s or prejudices it, but just that he wants to play football, devoid of all baggage, for the team that in his heart that he wants to play for; never forgetting as he said when he signed on in the first place… every football player in Scotland wants to play for Celtic. “Wants to play for Celtic”’





    If he’d signed for the huns he would have said the same. You can take all that PR stuff with a pinch of salt, whoever the player and whatever the club.



    Obviously for you, and those like you, the fact that Scot Brown is Scottish is a bonus.



    So we’re an inclusive club open to all but some are more welcome than others, is that not what you’re saying?

  6. Estadio says:


    3 December, 2011 at 12:23




    Good to see you back on the trail and hope you are returned to the rudest of health asap.



    I told that little tale to a group of tourists and fellow diners in a restaurant just off St’Peters’ Square.



    It’s a very clever explanation of capitalism.

  7. Kitalba.



    When Scott Brown originally signed for us he was a Rangers fan who gave them all the time that he could to come up with a deal to match Celtics.



    They weren’t willing to go anywhere near it.



    Scott Brown wants to win The league as the captain of Celtic.He is extremely proud to be the captain of Celtic.He gives his absolute all overtime he pulls on a Celtic shirt.



    I just don’t think that he is that good a player.



    As i stated earlier he has disappointed more often than he has fulfilled.



    Lets hope that that changes.One thing is for sure no-one will try harder.




  8. Paul67 et al



    Great news that Scott Brown has signed a new contract. Am I beginning to see a pattern with Neil Lennon gathering a group of players around him, Samaras, Kayal and now Brown who bring something to the team, but who retain value for the club. Neil Lennon know what Scott Brown offers, just like he has realised that players like Hooifeld, O’Dea and others need to progress their careers elsewhere, with our best wishes.

  9. ernie






    I’m sure you’ll get your answer from where, you directed your post.



    But Scott Brown’s lack of perceived by others ‘Celtic minded’ credentials are the very thing that separates Celtic and puts us on our pedestal.



    Open to all, – is why they hate us, and it’s the argument that ‘they’ cannot square.



    I think you already know this.

  10. KevJungle



    Just been informed our village idiot died last night.



    I’ve put your name forward to replace him.



    Hope your ok with that?




  11. Sources close to Whyte” in economical with truth shocker!


    03/12/2011 13 Comments



    Yesterday’s blog post revealed for the first time in any media outlet (mainstream or otherwise) that Rangers had prepared an appeal of the “wee tax case” and seems to have ruffled a few feathers in the process.



    In this morning’s Daily Telegraph, Roddy Forsyth reports: “A source close to Craig Whyte, the Rangers owner, told The Daily Telegraph that an appeal had been lodged several months ago against the liability – incurred under the previous regime of Sir David Murray and not to be confused with the much larger potential debt to HMRC… … The source added emphatically that the existing appeal was not intended to be a defence against Uefa sanctions.”



    First, Forsyth is confused or has been mislead. This appeal absolutely and categorically was not filed “several months ago“. Assuming that Forsyth is not confused, his source is either a shameless liar whose opinions on any of these matters should be treated on a par with asking Joseph Goebbels how the defence of Berlin is going- or his source does not know what is going on.



    Next, why did it require “a source close to Craig Whyte“? Why not an on-the-record statement from the club or one of its executives? Why have Rangers not made any reference to an appeal of the “wee tax case” assessment prior to my post yesterday?



    The phrase “a source close to Craig Whyte” is reminiscent of all of those fabulous promises made in the run-up to the takeover. Googling this phrase is instructive. ”A source close to Craig Whyte” has been responsible for the following gems being quoted in our mainstream media without critical analysis or qualification:



    ■“For a start, the deal Craig Whyte is putting forward is worth £52.5m, more than double the amount apparently to be raised by this unnamed Rangers director. Further, the Craig Whyte investment in the club would begin on day one of a deal being completed.”


    ■“…the businessman had decided to make available “significantly more” than the average sum of £5m-a-season to Ally McCoist when he succeeds current manager Walter Smith at the start of next term.”


    ■“Ally knows he will have significant funds to spend on players”


    With the track record of such “sources close to Whyte” one has to wonder why any member of the press would take them seriously? Roddy Forsyth is one of the better journalists among a very poor bunch. However, to repeat the words of someone who will undoubtedly be one of Whyte’s handsomely rewarded PR goons without getting objective proof is symptomatic of the malaise affecting Scottish football journalism. The lazily and cheaply acquired quote is favoured over truth. To repeat the words of someone who misleads others for a living without obtaining objective confirmation is just comically stupid or willfully negligent. I must assume that the subject of Rangers’ accumulating unpaid PAYE & national insurance money just did not come up in conversation?



    I do not claim to know with any certainty the motivation behind the appeal. So I cannot swear that it is related to the mounting pressure for Rangers to make an official and unequivocal statement on the status of this liability to HMRC as of 31 March 2011. However, the timing of the appeal does look convenient. I must acknowledge that it is also very possible that it is simply driven by financial necessity i.e. it is an attempt to reverse the arrestment of the £2.3m which is currently frozen prior to it disappearing forever within the next couple of weeks. However, I can confidently state that the launching of this appeal is very recent indeed.



    Of course, this can all be cleared up very easily. Mr. Whyte can tell us when the appeal was submitted. He can produce the appeal documents and show the dates to members of the press. Even members of his own trusted cadre of tame hacks would suffice. The central facts of the case are not in dispute and have been a matter of public record since Rangers’ interim accounts were released on 1st April. There will not be many real confidentiality concerns. We know the amount and to what it is related. All we need to know is the date of the appeal. This could debunk both my post from yesterday and the theory (expounded by others) that the SFA improperly granted Rangers a UEFA license for the 2011/2012 season.



    Go ahead Mr. Whyte. Prove me wrong. And Mr Forsyth, you could apply a bit more critical thinking in your work. If you are interested in the question of Rangers’ UEFA license, you can ask your contacts at Ibrox and at Hampden to show you the evidence. It would be a good bit of journalism and could lay this issue to rest once and for all

  12. Kitalba



    Your post is a tad aggressive.No need for that.



    I don’t buy the DR,and only read it on very few occasions.I actually don’t buy any daily newspapers.



    You are correct,i don’t know specifics about any transfer dealings,but Celtic have never stated that we have had an offer for him.



    I am applying common sense to the situation,admittedly my own version of common sense.



    You can make your point without having a go at me.



    There is too much keyboard aggression on here.



    Hail ! Hail!




  13. bournesouprecipe says:


    3 December, 2011 at 12:37



    Quality is required in the spine of the team. Keeper, centre half, and striker to go with the quality we already have in central midfield. If sacrificing one of the 5 you mentioned helped us strengthen one of the three positions above then that is good business in my opinion.


    I think we will sell one of the 5 in January, or in the summer at the latest, but providing we re-invest the money in areas we need strengthening then that is not a problem and won’t weaken us, rather strengthen us.

  14. TT



    I agree wit your appraisal of Scott. I do believe that of his time up until now, this season has been the best we’ve seen of him – if he keeps improving on that trajectory just think how good he may be by 2015?



    He strikes me as a strong character in and for the team – but then the players seem to think a lot of Majstorovic and I would happily pay his taxi fare to the airport.



    The league is within our control again – let’s just see what our re-signed Captain and others do to make it a reality…




  15. time for change on

    There is no Old Firm



    Pleased to see Scott sign his contract….good luck to him…….bearing in mind Radio Clyde announced it last night mainstream press did not run with story?



    Wee legal question at what point can Craig Whyte and colleagues be considered on a contempt of court charge e.g. If they now dispute the wee tax bill why not tell the judge at the time the funds were frozen, especially when on record that this bill is not disputed…



    Hail hail

  16. Been really busy at work and not on here.



    I get the impression that had we won against Atletico, it would have made next to no difference. We would still have had to beat Udinese. Is this correct?

  17. Dirtymac 12 .39



    I don’t know this for sure.



    But Celtic have not stated that they have refused recent offers for him,so im reading that as there have been no recent offers for him.



    I’m just applying common sense.He would be a relatively cheap acquisition for an EPl club just now ,given he was within the last 6 months of his contract.






  18. ernie lynch:



    I am Scottish, I Support a Scottish footbal team called Celtic, who are all inclusive, but yes a wee bonus for me is when a Scottish football player does well for the Celtic.



    1.Ronnie Simpson


    2.Jim Craig


    3.Tommy Gemmell


    4.Bobby Murdoch


    5.Billy McNeill


    6.John Clark


    7.Jimmy Johnstone


    8.Willie Wallace


    9.Stevie Chalmers


    10.Bertie Auld


    11.Bobby Lennox



    Pity Pele wasn’t up for it, he could have made a name for himself.



    Why is it every time I bother with you I get the gut feeling I am talking to a very bitter hunnish person.



    What is it about Scotland and the Scottish that you really have a problem with?



    You were the one that has been going on for days that no Celtic Supporter had a problem with Gordon Strachan’s nationality or religion but somehow I have this gut feeling that you are a liar.

  19. Absolutely delighted with Scott Brown’s new contract. I feel he is vital to our chances of securing the SPL and beyond.



    Can’t understand the negativity at all.



    Its starnge the Scott gets such criticism for the “headless” chicken nonsense. When Beram Kayal displays those same traits he’s described as “enthusiastic, committed, fearless and inspirational.””



    Ah well.



    Beauty is in the eye …………………… and all that jazz.




  20. Kayal33 says:


    3 December, 2011 at 12:59



    David Luiz makes Big Dan look like Baresi! How much did they pay for him?






    The Brazilian Derek Whyte was my remark to Mrs brimmer




  21. Can anybody prove to me that Scott Brown was ever a Rangers fan?



    Not that it matters really, Alfie Conn was a Rangers fan, so too was Kenny Dalgilsh, Murdo McLeod, Danny McGrain……………………………………………………………………….

  22. I’ve always wanted to say this AND MEAN IT!!



    “Nurse…my medication please”



    But as I go for my treatment I leave you with this wee light-hearted piece….I think this guy should be recruited for an ‘antiperspirant’ ad.



    I think he wanted to be a Rock Star



    Bye till the effects of the treatment wears off.



    Hail hail




  23. South Of Tunis on

    Scott Brown ———-



    I wouldn’t give a toss if Scott Brown was the Rangers supporting Bobo Dread son of voodoo crazies from Guadaloupe. His background etc is of no significance to me



    He simply isn’t my type of footballer. He simply doesn’t match my vision of the ideal Captain.



    but ——– hey —–



    He is a Celtic player ——– I therefore give him my support

  24. Spent my lunch break reading back over the posts,some are magnificent ,some informative some objective,then i,m afraid we have kev of the jungle.


    Kev,looking at the time span that you have been posting over,are you taking the white stuff known as marching powder? If so get help,if not get help.


    As for moa,i shall go back outside to work in crap weather to earn enough dough to afford to go to watch my team. To all punters be lucky today.HH

  25. Snake Plissken on

    Newcastle vs Chelsea



    Chelsea should be winning as Sturridge is free on the right constantly. And we have a bad defence.

  26. Pete The Beat (previous page0



    Not quite. If we had drawn on Wednesday it’d have made no diffenece, i.e. we’d still have to win our final game. But had we won the table would have been –


    Udinese 8 pts


    Celtic 8 pts


    Athletico 7 pts


    Rennes 3 pts



    We could then have lost our last game and possibly still have gone through.



    Anyway, we didn’t win on Wednesday! ;-)




  27. Jobo



    When are you posting your picks for today old bhoy?



    They always make me feel better when my coupon gets pumped.




  28. The Honest Cover-up on

    TopCorner says:


    3 December, 2011 at 13:03



    This has to be the most explosive story in Scottish sport’s history. Either Rangers and the SFA have colluded to ensure a European licence is granted or Rangers have mislead the SFA into granting them one.


    Phil Mac has been banging this drum for months, posters here have been discussing it openly and now RCT is gift wrapping this story for the hacks yet they continue to look the other way, whistling and pretend not to notice.


    The rules are clear. No licence can be granted if there is an outstanding tax bill on 31 March 2011. The tax bill was public knowledge by then, was unpaid (is still unpaid) and was not under appeal.


    If it was under appeal then why did Sheriff Officers visit on August 9th 2011?!!



    I hear a caller on Clyde raise this point. The panel of “experts” feigned utter ignorance and quickly moved on, stating that it was not against the rules as “Manchester United and Chelsea had massive debts and they were allowed to play in Europe”. The caller was cut off before being able to repeat that it was a TAX debt that would prevent the licence being granted!



    Stewart Regan’s reply on twitter a few weeks ago sounded like he was crossing his fingers and hoping this big ugly mess would just go away. Were is not for the internet he would probably have his wish granted.


    “Timm”y has been beavering away, educating himself and investigating and won’t let this drop! Over to you again, Mr Regan.

  29. South Of Tunis:



    Scott Brown is not my Captain… he is Neil Lennon’s Captain. Neil Lennon knows his players, our club, the effect of ‘honest mistakes’ and the level field on which our team is asked to perform.



    Neil Lennon from Ireland trusts Scott Brown from Scotland to best represent us as a club and a collective and as a demographic and as a culture and as – most importantly – a family. I’ll bet Neil Lennon never was so crass as to ask Scott Brown which school he went to.

  30. hen1rik says:


    3 December, 2011 at 12:53



    In this morning’s Daily Telegraph, Roddy Forsyth reports: “A source close to Craig Whyte, the Rangers owner, told The Daily Telegraph that an appeal had been lodged several months ago against the liability – incurred under the previous regime of Sir David Murray and not to be confused with the much larger potential debt to HMRC… … The source added emphatically that the existing appeal was not intended to be a defence against Uefa sanctions.”




    I think it’s very safe to say that an appeal was not lodged several months ago against the liability for, if such an appeal was lodged, the amount would never have been frozen in their accounts. Disinformation at it’s best methinks – the penalties were certainly appealed several months ago and that was pretty much it.